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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  March 15, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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lacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? schiavocampo. wayne lapierre just took the
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stage at cpac and we will hear what he has to say this morning. >> when i was about your age right back there, i didn't come here to be popular. i came here to stand for what i believe is true. the political elites, they may not like it. the liberal media can keep hating on me, but i'm still standing unapologetic and unflen unflen unflen unflenching in the defense of our individual free do. -- freedom. they can call me crazy or anything else they want, but nra's nearly 5 million members, and americans 100 million gun owners will not back down not ever. i promise you that. the second amendment, our second
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amendment, and it is not just words on parchment. it is not some frivolous suggestion from our founding fathers to be interpreted by whim. it lies at the heart of what this country was founded upon. our founding fathers knew that without the second amendment, and that freedom, all of our freedoms could be in jeopardy. our individual liberty is the very essence of america. it is what makes america unique. if you are not free to protect yourself when government puts its thumb on that freedom, then you are not free at all. but they insult. they denigrate. they call us crazy for holding fast to that belief. in their distorted view of the world, they are smarter than we are. they are special.
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they are more worthy than we are. they know better than we do. and -- listening to the nra ceo wayne lapierre discussing this and other issues from cpac, let's bring in the friday political power. democratic strategist and cnbc contributor chip boykin, and for those of you looking at the cpac convention convention, and what about wayne lapierre has to say so for and what it says about the party so far? >> well, it is a strong second amendment party, and believe in gun ownership and knot morgue than that. every person who is invited to cpac has a long list of things to believe in, and obviously the nra supports a lot of republican candidates and they support pro democrats as well. so i'm invited to see that he
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was invite and glad he was speaking. >> one of the big speakers was donald trump and he talked about himself and where romney was wrong and went wrong in the campaign. listen to what he had to say. >> i have made over $8 billion. i'm very proud of what i have done, and i think that if mitt made one mistake and i like mitt romney a lot, but if he made one mistake it is that he didn't talk enough about his success. >> so, at a time when the republicans are still trying to shake off the 47% remarks by romney, if you are are a democratic thinking about the future elections do, you want donald trump saying anything like this? >> well, who gives a speech that i made $8 billion as a way to start off. this is great for the democratic party to have donald trump up there, and sarah palin and allan west up there, to give the
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speech s th speeches that middle and moderate america does not understand. this is wonderful not only for the red meat base of the republican party, but also for the democratic party, so it works in both ways. >> and rachel, mitt romney will be speaking at noon today, and he is probably the most anticipated speaker of the event and this is his first official speaking appearance since he lost the presidential election and politico had this to say about romney, the base moved on four months ago and most activists don't care what the failed nominee thinks anymore, and if you are romney, why make this event your coming out party? >> well, the conservatives in the party never trusted mitt romney. this is a chance to maybe bridge that gap a little bit, although the overriding feeling as we reported today is one of apathy, and a feeling of let's move on in the republican party, and we lost that race, so time to look forward and it is hard to see how the speech generates any excitement in the room, but mitt romney still could have a future that e he redefi-- he redefines
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himself, and it will be interesting how conservative he goes in the speech today. >> and jeb bush is also speaking today and a lot of the buzz is that he was excluded from the straw poll that apparently he wanted to be excluded because he said it is too early to think about 2016 and is that smart or would it have benefited for him to rank well in the poll? >> well, it is a smart move. the guy in charge of cpac is jeb bush's former hand picked former republican party chairman, and so hein cahoots with the guy, and i t is in his bers interest, because he is looking for the long term against marco rubio and rand paul who are hot right now, and jeb bush has great name recognition and may not do well here but later on and if he decides to jump in and bring in more money to the campaign. >> and isn't this a straw poll that is meaningless, because
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rand paul has won several times. >> well, this is the first opportunity for people who are running for 2016 to get their name out for potential activists to jump on board or campaign donors the look at them. it is a straw poll to see who should we be looking at down the road. >> and chip, yesterday, we got some mixed messages about the two conservatives of 2016 buzz, and litet's take a listen to the clips. >> the gop of old has grown stale and moss covered. now, i don't think that we need to name any names. >> we don't need a new idea. there is an idea, and the idea is called america, and it still work works. >> so on the one hand you have paul saying that the party is stale and moss cover and rubio saying, no everything is working and we don't need to make any changes, and the daily news
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called it a day of contradictions, so where do you move without any consensus? >> well, two different voices and two different opinion, and that is not new in politics. we don't have a president right now, and we have lots of people who want to be president, and this is one of the beds that you hear people talking in. paul gave a speech that fit the room, and senator rubio gave a speech that fit outside of the room. and not only a different speech, but different strategy and we have lots of voices in the party as we move forward. >> and rachel, the last word on cpac, and another headline in politico showing side by side pictures of rubio and paul calling it a fight for future. and if it is a fight, who won the fight yesterday? >> well, i don't know if there is a clear winner, but it is a two-week period for rock stardom for senator paul, and that moss covered headline will be getting a lot of attention, and not to mention mccain describing whacko
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birds for paul and his colleagues, and so giving us the sound bites here at cpac and onward. >> and for the power panel, we thank you all for being here this morning. all right. the other big news of the day, ohio's republican senator rob portman coming out in support of marriage equality. senator portman saying that his change of heart motivated by a very personal situation, his own son came out. >> i have, you know, come to the conclusion that for me, personally, i think that this is something that we should allow people to do to get married and to have the joy and the stability of marriage that i have had for over 26 years. i want all three of my kids to have it, including our son who is gay. >> portman followed up the remarks with an op-ed in today's "columbus dispatch" where he makes the argument for allowing lgbt couples to marry, and his son tweeted, especially proud of
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my dad today. here to discuss this is liz mayor, and also former rnc online communications director. liz, thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me. >> senator portman said that his support does not contradict his conservative values. he said that it does not amount to a threat, but a tribute to marriage. how strong is that argument? >> well, it is supportive, because a lot of the arguments for same-sex marriage to date have focused on the much more recognition of contracts and recognition of liberty and a lot of the more libertarian arguments and some of what senator portman is saying is much more directed at basic concerns that a lot of the conservatives have about fundamental institutions, and family relationships and thins s
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of that nature which the libertarian arguments don't necessarily speak to quite the same degree. >> now, the senator made allowances for those who disagree with him saying that well intentioned people can disagree on the issue of marriage for gay couples and maintaining religious freedom is just as important as pursuing civil rights. now senator portman's home has a constitutional ban on gays from marry, and how does portman reconcile his own beliefs with the state law? >> i suspect that he now opposes the state's law and you would have to ask him in order to get a definitive a answer, and i would say that he opposes his own state's law, because it prevents marriage between same sex couples, yeah. >> and he was considered to be a running mate for mitt romney, and he said he did reveal his son's sexuality in the vetting process, and beth myers who conducted the vetting process said it did not pose an issue.
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but wouldn't it have posed some discussion. >> it don't believe so, because back in 2004 when we had george bush and dick cheney running for re-election, george bush took his stance with regard to same-sex marriage, and dick cheney is in favor for same-sex marriage and has said so publicly for many times. but in the case of mitt romney, because there is always more suspicion about him among the social conservatives maybe something that would have played more of a role there than the 2004 campaign, but i highly doubt this had anything the do with why senator portman was not selected as mitt romney's running mate. from what i heard, i feel that mitt romney had a real partnership with paul ryan in taking a position to advance the ideas, but that did not happen
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in the campaign, and the vice presidential selection was more of that. >> and liz mair of goproud, thank you. >> thank you. and now the independent senator from maine is going to join us next to talk about the issues tearing the party apart. and another carnival cruise ship having problems within a month. [ male announcer ] ah... retirement. sit back, relax, pull out the paper and what? another article that says investors could lose tens of thousands of dollars in hidden fees on their 401(k)s?! seriously? seriously. you don't believe it? search it. "401(k) hidden fees." then go to e-trade and roll over your old 401(k)s to a new e-trade retirement account. we have every type of retirement account. none of them charge annual fees and all of them offer low cost investments. why? because we're not your typical wall street firm
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the powerful elites who will always have their own security called our proposal absurd. you know what is really absurd? not protecting our children at school. thousands thousands of our schools today remain vulnerable
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as ever to the evil intentions of a mad man. >> that was nra ceo wayne lapierre moments ago at cpac bringing up the tragedy at newtown while saying that gun control legislation won't make neshg safer. the gun control prevention task force is holding a hearing on background checks in two hours in washington, and it comes after the judiciary committee passed a assault weapons ban. and joining us now is senator angus king from maine. you know it won't make it out of the house, but what happens when it hits the senate floor? >> well, it won't get the votes, and based upon the fact that what is the functionality of the weapon? does it shoot further, faster, and more frequent bullets, and an assault weapon is really a semiautomatic rifle like thousands of hunting rifles in maine, but it looks different.
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i don't think that -- i just think that a ban that focuses on what amounts to the appearance of a weapon is going to be very effective. the other piece as mayor bloomberg pointed out last sunday is about 4% of the gun homicides in the country are committed with rifles, whether they are assault rifles or other rifles and the real issue is handguns. that is why my focus is on background checks. i think that the key thing is to keep the guns out of the hands of the people who shouldn't have them. criminals, people with mental illness that makes them prone to violence, terrorists, and those kinds of things, so i think that universal background checks is the single most effective thing that we can do, and also controls through, controls on gun trafficking. people that buy them legally and then resale them on the black market, and that is where the t attention needs to be focused. there is going to be a big debate on the assault weapons,
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and i agree with senator cruz, it is constitutional to do such a thing. the supreme court has indicated that pretty strongly, but i don't -- i just don't think it is going to be that effective. i'd rather my focus on what is going to work and i think that background checks is the most important thing to do. >> and you mentioned two things, background checks and restrictions on trafficking. do you think that those measures could get bipartisan support, and if not, what do you think has a realistic chance of getting support from both sides of the aisle? >> well, the trafficking bill already has bipartisan support. for example, i know that my colleague susan collins from maine is one of the cosponsors and i believe some other republican coupon s-- cosponsor on that as well as leahey on that one. background checks is harder, but i don't understand the argument about this. there is a vague it is going to turn into a registry and going to turn into confiscation, and we have had background checks for 15 years and that has not
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happened and no evidence it will happen, but the trouble is that 40% of the guns traded in the country don't go through the background check process, and that is just ridiculous, so i think that the background checks make sense. i am hoping that we will be able to do it. ironically ten years ago the nra supported universal background checks, and they have had a change of heart since then, and this is unfortunate, because it is a chance for them to step up to do something for the country, and not at all compromise the rights of law abiding citizens. >> let's switch gears here, and talk for a minute about the budget. the president met for both sides in three days to haggle over proposals for 2014 and this is how he summed up the so-called charm offensive. >> i think that we have had good conversations. ultima ultimately, it is a matter of the house and the senate and both caucus getting together to be willing to compromise, and we will see if we can do that. >> everybody willing to
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compromise and that is a lot easier said than done, and what do you need to do and the president need to do on the hill? >> well, the house has passed the budget with the paul ryan budget out of the committee, and the senate is working and i was in an 11-hour meeting yesterday in the senate budget committee and we reported out of the budget that will go to the floor to the senate, and it was along party lines and i participated with the democrats in the building of the budget. it comes down, and it is intere interesting that i woke up this morning realizing what the fundamental differences are. both parties have come out strongly in favor of examining the tax code for loopholes, deductions, exclusions, and ways that money sort of leaks out of the tax system. both parties have said they want to do that, but the real difference is that what do they want to do with the money? the house budget would take the money generated and provide another tax cut would go i believe disproportionately to the wealthy, and the budget that we passed out of the committee yesterday would take that money
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and apply it to deficit reduction. i think that is as an independent as somebody who has looked at the issue as to me this is a reasonable way to do it, particularly when you look back to 2011 when we started this deficit reduction process, and if you add what has been done since 2011 in the way of cuts and revenues and to the budget that was passed yesterday, it comes out 65% cuts and 35% revenues. that is a reasonable balance that the american people can p support. >> all right. senator angus king, we have to leave it right there, and thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. glad to be with you, mara. the dow jones on a winning streak for ten days straight and the best streak in 17 years. we are keeping our eyes on wall street. and plus, the new knife policy doesn't fly, and that is what a group of flight attendants and screeners are saying, but the tass a is not
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wireless is limitless. coming up, texts on trial, and there is a big focus of text messages and phone messages in the rape trial out of stubenville, ohio and how a cell phone could determine guilt or innocence. here is a look at the stories topping the news. pope francis met with cardinals this morning and including those who were not part of the conclave and not eligible to vote. and big news for the carnival cruise ship. legend cut the trip short and heading back to tampa, because of a propulsion problem. it was stuck in st. martin because of a generator failure. and stocks are down after a we weaker than expected consumer sentiment report. the dow had a streak of the longest since 1976.
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and all options are on the table when it comes the iran's nuclear program. in an interview, the president with channel 2 tv in iran said that it would take over a year for iran to develop a nuclear wep pob. two people are missing in sioux falls, south dakota, after they missed in freezing waters to save a 6-year-old boy. the fire chief says that he believes that the woman and the man drowned. >> a poll shows that more mothers want to work full-time now than five years ago and the numbers are up before 2007 when the economy went south. and hashtag? facebook is researching to add the feature to the site. dige. ♪ stay in the groove with align. ♪ need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's a probiotic that fortifies your digestive system
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anticipated speeches of day will happen under two hours from now when mitt romney makes his return. it is mr. romney's first official public speaking appearance since his failed bid for the white house. join ming he from national harb, maryland, is kasie hunt. >> good morning, mara. >> what is the anticipation for governor romney's speech, and are people abuzz there? >> well, people are more curious than excited, and they don't know what to make of it. they are interested in what he has to say, but from the stage it is vailed criticism from folks like marco rubio and rick perry who took jabs at him from the stage. >> any idea why romney chose this event for his first public appearance since the election? >> well, this is an audience that he has tried very hard to woo over the years. last year when he was here, he ad libbed the speech and
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insisted that he was severely conservative, and something to win over the activists that come to the conference, but there is a simpler explanation, too, because last year when thought to be the president of the united states, they invited him back and he said, yes. kasie hunt, nbc political contributor. thank you. >> thank you, mara. ate closely watched rape trial. this morning the pros ecutors called one of the most important witnesses, one of the teenagers who were in the room the night that two football players allegedly assaulted a teenaged girl. the photos showed a girl passed out and partially naked and some of the trial hinges on the texts between the defendants and others. we go the ron allen who is live outside of that courtroom. ron, good morning. what is the latest from court this morning? >> well, good morning, mara. as you said one of the key witnesses has taken the stand and we have gotten to the heart
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of this case. the teenager who is testifying saying that he did in fact witness a sexual act committed by one of the defendants against this 16-year-old girl who is the accuser. now, for the past couple of days, we have seen a lot of testimony about literally tens of thousands of text messages that were going back and forth during the night in question, and the days after it between the teenagers involved in this. this goes back to the night in august, august 11th and 12th when there were literally dozens of teenagers out partying. there is a lot of drinking going on and explicit and graphic text messages going on about sexual acti activity that did or didn't happen, and at the bottom is two football players, and a sophomore and freshman and two promising players on a team that is essentially everything in the community, the big red. they are former state champions and just about never the town knows somebody who played for or plays for the football team, and they play in a 10,000-seat
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stadium of a town of 18,000 people, so that gives you an idea of how important it is. but the trial alleges two occasions where the young girl was sexually rape and penetrated digitally if i can say it explicitly by these two young athletes f. convicted, because they are minors and this is happening in a juvenile court, they could be incarcerated in a juvenile facility until 21 and registered as sex yule offenders, but it is an emotional trial, because there are protesters and many people in the town who feel that there should have been more people at the parties arrested and charged for the very least not reporting the alleged crime. there is allegations that there is a cover-up and that other people were not arrested or charged because of reverence and respect for the football team. the prosecutors deny that, and there is a judge who has been brought in from out of town to oversee the case, and the state's attorney general's office had to be brought in,
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because the local prosecutor had to be removed because her sons play on the football team. and the bottom line that this is a very emotional case for graphic and explicit testimony. this could go on for some time, because there are tens of thousands of messages and a lot of witnesses who are going to be called to testify. >> ron allen live in stubenville. thank you for that. the stubenville rape trial is one of two cases capturing the nation. the other is the trial of jodi arias. we are joined by jamie. and tell us about the stubenville case, and the text messages and how prominent that is in the legal case? >> well, in this case, it is key, and there is no evidence that has been recovered or saved, physical evidence of rape. in most rape cases you have what is known as the rape kit, and
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evidence that the young woman was assaulted and then you have to prove that there was a forceable assault, but here, quite a bit of time went by before any sexual assault was reported at all. and all we have as ron reported is tens of thousands of text messages that went on about the assault. it is horrific what some of the young men said aboon the videots that went viral, but is that evidence of assault, and it is unpr unprecedented case where you are going to try these young men, and the accuser is going to bring this case based exclusively on text messages. it is quite something and that is why it is garnering national attention and the emotion involved and all of the witnesses that ron talks about virtually all of them with the exception of the police and the prosecution evidentiary kind of witnesses are going to be young people, minors. >> and from the legal perspective, how are the text messages treated? like any other written
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communication, like a letter or e-mail or other conversations? where do they fall? >> well, two stages when these evidence pieces come in. they have to be verified and yes sh yes, the second stage, they are treated as ig anything else. this is an area where the technology is outpacing the law. we are finding more and more in criminal cases that the trail you leave as a witness, as a defendant, i mean, it is amazing to me that these young people are sitting in a room where this kind of behavior whether these young people are guilty or not, but this behavior is going on and creating a videotape and creating a record and then for days afterwards on both sides of the case, and nobody is notifying the authorities, but this is how this criminal case is going to be tried. >> and once you hit send it disappears is what some young people belief. and some believe that the sexual activity was consensual, but the prosecution is saying that the woman was too drunk to have
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consensual and can you explain that? >> well, in the end, the case is not about the text messages, because the ultimate issue is consent. nobody is going to demonstrate whether this young woman gave consent except for the young woman herself. they need the accuser to come forward and explain whether or not she consented. this is a terribly difficult area of law. rape cases are the most emotionally fraught with the possible exception of murder case cases. this is a 16-year-old girl, and 16 is the age of consent in ohio. so, h this is terribly difficult for the prosecution to have to prove consent. what these boys did was morally irreprehensible, and no question about it, because we have the video evidence of that, but was it legally sexual assault and digital penetration against the consenting will of this young girl and that is what the prosecutors have to prove. >> well, we have a little time left and i want to talk about the jodi arias trial in arizona. she has taken the stand for 18
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days where she answered 220 questions submitted by the juror,s, and have they done enough to present a strong defense in her case? >> well, it is funny, because these cases are complete dichotomies. in ohio, you have a judge in judgment of these two young men, and in the jodi arias case, you have a jury submitting 150 questions with a defendant on the witness stand answering those questions. >> unusual. >> highly unusual for a jury to ask 150 questions and in the other case, you have a judge sitting in judgment, and in most jury trials, you don't have the jury asking questions and also i have never heard of a defendant on the witness stand for 18 days. they have not done her a service, but in a case of self-defense, you have to have the witness take the stand. >> thank you, jami floyd. there is a backlash from some of its own over the new
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ruling to allow knives on flights. we will explain why this matters. hey. they're coming. yeah. british. later. sorry. ok...four words... scarecrow in the wind... a baboon... monkey? hot stew saturday!? ronny: hey jimmy, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? jimmy: happier than paul revere with a cell phone. ronny: why not? anncr: get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me. thought i had it in the blizzard of '93. ha! never even came close. sometimes, i actually think it's mocking me. [ engine revs ] what?! quattro!!!!! ♪
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it's what you see is what you get food. it's oscar mayer. it is a dangerous policy, because al qaeda will just move to the swiss army knife rather than a box cutter. >> we all know that any way you slice it, a knife like this is a weapon, and it doesn't belong on an airplane. >> several unions representing airline workers are protesting the plan to allow small knives on board airplanes. the policy would allow foldable knives little more than two inches back on planes. john pistole defended the plan saying that terrorists are using other tactics to bring down planes and he used a video to make the point. >> the threat to aviation is from nonmetallic, such as the liquid explosives plot we saw in the uk in 2006.
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in is the type of device that i want our screening officers looking for. >> joining me now is sarah nelson, vice president of the association of flight attendant s, and sarah, thank you for being here this morning. >> thank you very much. >> and pistole is arguing that it is much more difficult to to get to the cockpit after 9/11 because of the locked doors and what not. >> well, it is not fitting well -- sitting well with flight attendants. our jobs have changed drastically, we are not just first responders, but we are the first line of defense. we have to deescalate conflict and sometimes ask the passengers to help us to contain real serious problems and you introduce a knife into the scenario, and it is that much more dangerous. with with reconcerned about this on many respects. both on acts of terrorism, and also on the daily disturbances.
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transportation security should not stop at the cockpit door, and it needs to be a about the millions of passengers in our care everyday and we want to get them safely from point a to point b. >> and john pistole said something else that grabbed attention, and that is the purpose of the tsa and let's listen. >> if we focus on the objects, then we are always behind the eight-ball and the full purpose is to focus on the intent of the person and it is the mission of the tsa to prevent disturbances by inebriated passengers on board, i don't think so. >> does he have a point, is the tsa asked to focus on something outside of their scope? >> he doesn't have a point here, but what is all areas of air safety. air marshals agree, because we don't want the knives on board. we support a risk analysis basis, but bringing the weapons on board is a bad idea for the safety of the crew members, and
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bad idea for the traveling public who we are charged with ensuring their safety, health and security on board. >> well, the new rules are scheduled to take effect april 25th, and the tsa says it is not changing its mind, and so what are the unions prepared to do in this matter? do you have any recourse? >> well, i am happy to be talking to your viewers, because this is going to take massive pushback on this. we have a petition called no knives on that we are encouraging the public to sign. we are working with congressman markey and grim to stop this legislation from going into effect. the reality is that if the administrator doesn't overturn this policy and reverse the decision, we will work to get an act in congress to overthururn this. we are not going to stop and make sure that these blades are not reintroduced into our cabin. >> thank you, sarah walsh for
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joining us. and not out of the woods yet. a grand jury is reportedly investigating robert menendez' working of a top campaign donor. the investigators are asking about senator menendez and his fo former campaign donor. and in detroit, the city has a $27 million deficit, and more than $14 billion in long-term debt, but there is belief that it can be fixed. and yesterday was pi yesterday, and he was on capitol hill for budget meetings, but he never got to sit down to eat with senators and that meant no lobster or blueberry pie. susan collins said that he did not eat because there was no
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quote taster there. the first lady is in "vogue" and she graces the cover of the magazine for the second time. the firlst in 2009. and bill clinton celebrating with the big guys in the big east. he visited the louisville cardinals in the locker room after the tournament win over villanova last night. >> from vice president to reality star, and joe biden is getting his own internet-based reality show. sort of. and "being biden" will feature pictures of the vice president and an audio explanation. you can watch it on the white house website. it is the world according to dick cheney and the documentary airs tonight on showtime and apparently cheney does not have any regrets or apologies, but he is angry that the movie portrays him as a manipulative operator. the travel industry expects 2013 to be a big year for the boomer travel market. with many retiger and more time to travel, the over 50 set are hitting the road. where are they heading?
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travel interviewed the subscribers and found that the number one boomer destination is mexico. and warmer weather made hawaii and the caribbean places where the boomers are kicking back and enjoying life. is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. prego?! but i've bought ragu for years. [ thinking ] wonder what other questionable choices i've made? i choose date number 2! whooo! [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego.
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one day after a senate committee passed a controversial bill along party gun rights gro ramped up his rhetoric on the c pac stage. let's listen to what wayne lapierre said about the bill's sponsor moments ago. >> senator dianne feinstein admitted that she had her gun ban bill ready to go a year ago. tucked away in a drawer, just waiting for the right opportunity. really? waiting for an unspeakable tragedy to push her political agenda? is there any wonder why most americans don't trust congress? they're simply not serious about making our kids or our country safer. >> with me now is jamey wams an msnbc contributor and democratic strategist.
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thanks for being here. >> thank you, maria. >> he's talking to conservatives, but this is broadcast to a national audience. is this the kind of message that resonates with a lot of the country? >> i don't think so, i think he's a big fish in a little, teeny pond. he's basically speaking for all intents and purposes to the tea party faction of the republican party. you know, i did a thing yesterday with huff post live, a abby huntsman was the host. she said we've got to take the republican party back. that's the mainstream in my opinion of independent-thinking republican voters these days. what wayne lapierre is doing this, is drumming up the concentrated base. he's doing dog whistling, he said also in that speech, are they insane? what's the point of newspapers printing the name of legal gun owners? so the chinese can hack the list? so the mexicans can get the records? he's dog whistling, he's race baiting. he's doing all the things that make that group of the american sector froth at the mouth.
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it's very smart on his part, frankly. >> the fact that he's been given this prominent speaking role at this event, does this support many liberals' claims that the gop is beholden to the nra? >> i think that's probably very true. when i worked in the senate for almost seven years, the gop obviously was naturally allied to the nra. just like the democrats were for the most part to the teachers union, et cetera, et cetera, you're going to have natural alliances all over. but it's not as simple as that and i'll give you an example. take joe mansion from west virginia, a democrat, a red state what role is joe mansion going to play in this debate? you've got a bill, several bills to come out of the judicialry committ committee, go to the floor, harry reid said every senator will have to take a vote on every one of those bills. that includes nine democrats from red states or purple states that are up for re-election this cycle. they're going to have to take very tough votes on that. it will be hard for them. if they don't have 60 votes and
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the democrats have 55 zmors and they lose nine of their own people? where are they going do get those from? the republican side? highly doubtful. to your point, the gop and nra naturally aligned. >> let's talk more about democrats like joe mansion, a great political story about how he could be president obama's best hope for piecing together a deal. how crucial will be it to have individuals like this who can bridge the divide, try to find some measures that can get bipartisan support from both sides of the aisle? >> listen, i think if you see a joe mansion sort of step up to the plate and go and say listen, we're going to do something on trafficking, we're going to do something on background checks. and we're going to water down the assault bans piece, that gives a lot of people cover. a lot of the other vulnerable democrats up for re-election. it gives some of the moderate republicans left in the senate, not many of them, a lot of cover as well. could you cobble together a coalition of the senate to get to 60 on several of those provisions and get that out and send it to the house? you could. the question is, what does the house do at that point? that's where it all stops. the house is never going to pass
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that stuff. they're not going to do it even if there are ten more new towns, they're not going to do it. >> the "washington post" wrote an article on how the nra spent-miles of dollars to shape the supreme court's reinterpretation of the second amendment. feinstein and cruz their debate over the second amendment. let's me play you what joe scarborough had to say this morning. >> it ted cruz go to law school? >> i believe he went to harvard. >> i'm wondering why would he use his seat on the judiciary committee, if he went to harvard -- >> and clerked -- >> to put forward a willfully ignorant statement about this bill violating the second amendment. because it does not. and ted cruz knows it does not. >> if you even have other republicans acknowledging these inaccuracies, are we still going to continue to hear these kinds of arguments anyway? >> sure you are. and the reason you are is because the makeup of the senate
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today, unfortunately you have a more polarized u.s. senate where you know, you had, used to have kay bailey hutchinsons and olympia snowe. and kay bailey hutchinson, guess who replaced her? ted cruz. the republicans are beholden to the far, far right of the party. they're gf to figure out how to get back into the mainstream. an up-and-comer to that party is never going to help that cause. >> joe williams, thanks for being here. thanks for watching have a great weekend, thomas roberts will be back on monday at 11:00 p.m. eastern, "now" with alex wagner is next. marjorie, i can't stand you. you're too perfect.
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